After months of browsing the site and reading some post I figured it would be a good idea to actually join up and really benefit from the advice and support of other long term back pain sufferers.
Brief history - Dec 2003, fell while snowboarding in the Pyrenees, rushed to Lourdes Hospital (yes that Lourdes!) when they found a crushed T12. Full CAT scan revealed no further spinal damage and after 4 days lying on my back waiting for the exoskeleton to be made I was flying home to UK for Christmas - which was spent on my back drinking beer from a baby cup. March 2004 after the all clear from my doctor and radiologist I was back on my board with serious body armour. Mid 2007 I had an MRI and found not only the T12 vertebra was crushed but the L2/L3 and L4/L5 discs were damaged (the T11/T12 drops into the gap left by the damaged T12).
Since then I have suffered varying levels of pain from mild discomfort to excruciating shoot me now pain. It is worse when it is cold and damp and I know within 30 minutes if it is going to rain. Recently it has started to get worse despite physio, stretching and other preventative measures. it is now to the point where if I don't take 2x400mg Ibuprofen before bed I don't sleep and some nights I need to take a Codeine based painkiller (OTC in UK). Not only that now I have a "numb bum" in my left buttock which I hope is not Sciatic damage (no tingling or pain my my leg, just a numbness and ache in my upper thigh/buttock area).
I was advised by my French and Trinidad doctors to avoid surgery if I could and personally I would rather not let anyone near my body with a knife, especially when I can still walk, swim, sail and snowboard. However that said I am open to options particularly if it might prevent any further worsening of the pain level. I reckon my baseline is now a 5 on the normal person pain scale.
I am not going to let this stop me and in fact the accident was the wake up call that made me realise life really is too short. I'm hoping to find other pain relief methods, treatments and certainly make contact with other people in the same boat for mutual support. No one in my family can really understand the pain so sometimes it does make me feel very alone.
Cheers and cold beers
Living on dreams and Custard Creams